The Flannel eating monster …

T his was a day I’m rather thankful that I’ve not completely caught up on my list mail .. I tripped over a post by a lady that is going to use fleece and flannel in her quilt. (Can you imagine how warm and snuggly that will be???) She was asking about shrinkage between fleece and flannel and if she should prewash .. well the answer was yes because they were different fabrics with different rates of shrinkage. And you .. yup, you guess it .. I started to think .. oh wait .. stop rolling your eyes in that tone .. it WAS a good thing!!! honestly 😛

So .. I google flannel shrinkage and then cotton batting shrinkage .. I found some very useful sites, but one mentioned progressive shrinkage. I’m thinking .. oh great – now what?? So I start to click happily away and load up all sorts of pages to read at my leisure. Well progressive shrinkage was described as this at “those beloved flannel pajamas I had when I was a kid. You remember those, don’t you? The set that was a bit too large when you first tried it on, then fit just right after 2 or 3 washings, and then, without you realizing it, was too short in the arms and legs, as if you had a sudden, overnight growth spurt?” …. [snip] And of course I remembered that, i LOVED flannel jammies, but hated that they never fit me right .. (eventually I gave up and just used flannel sheets)

She (I’m assuming she’s a she here) goes on to explain the manufacturing process off flannel which makes really does explain the shrinkage factor. But i read on another page how some are woven wonky like and go on the bolt all warped .. When these flannels are washed then they are all twisty – and I remembered blankets and whatnot doing that too .. Egads .. I’m using this as batting in my 1800 quilt .. oh HELL no!!! If that happened and my quilt got all twisty like .. I would be so devasted ..

So i continue to read – and then discovered that you can’t see the warping in the store due to the sizing (God I hate that stuff!!), then I remember .. but one wash gets the sizing out 🙂 so instead of spending the nite setting up a section to quilt and actually quilt it, I washed the flannel instead .. (I gots more thread trash).

So this washing took out all the sizing (I washed in hot and dried in hot), and the first huge shrinkage is done. I now have one section set up to go and will work on it tomorrow – er rather later today.

See I never pre-wash / shrink my cotton batting as I love he krinkly look you get when it does get washed, and since I wash my fabrics, the only shrinkage i get is from the batting. So, the flannel shrinking again and maybe another time won’t distress me as I’ll get some krinkly look, but thank God I won’t get the twisty look ..

Oh and the shrinkage rates; flannel 5%, cotton batting (least warm & natural) 3%


One thought on “The Flannel eating monster …

  1. I use lots of flannel backs and don’t pre-wash (don’t pre-shrink my batting either). I get just enough of the crinkly look when I wash them to make me happy. Just my experience!


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